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Fourth of July and Your Pet

Take precautions to protect your pets on July 4

Fourth of July is a wonderful occasion to celebrate our independence, but it is also one of the busiest weeks for animal shelters and animal protection agencies. Every year at this time, there are problems with pets because they become startled by loud fireworks and run away; become afraid when their owners are entertaining guests at picnics and barbecues who are strangers to them; and suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke because their owners don’t give them proper hot-weather care.

The Boulder Police Department Animal Protection Unit would like to offer pet owners some helpful tips to keep their pets safe and comfortable during the upcoming July 4 holiday, and through the summer:

  • Leave pets at home instead of bringing them to public picnics, fairs, fireworks display, etc. Don’t leave them in your vehicle. Even on a 72-degree day, the temperature in a parked car can rise to 116 degrees within an hour. That can be deadly for your animals, and cracking windows has little effect on the inside temperature of the vehicle. Don’t allow your car to become a coffin. Parking in the shade also doesn’t have much effect.
  • When walking dogs, keep them on a leash at all times in the event they panic due to a sudden noise. Often, animals that run away are either injured by vehicles or sometimes even other animals.
  • Make sure your pet has some form of ID at ALL times; City of Boulder residents are required to have their current City dog license. It’s a good idea to keep an ID tag on your pet’s collar, and microchips are even better.
  • When leaving pets home alone, keep doors and windows firmly closed
  • Keep your pet cool; animals are susceptible to heat stroke so make sure you provide plenty of shade and cool water. If your animal becomes too hot, you can rub your pet down with a cool towel, and immerse their feet in cool water. In the kind of heat we’ve been experiencing, concrete and asphalt are too hot for your pet’s paws. The hot asphalt can also cause your pet’s body to heat up quickly, which can lead to heat stroke. If you think your animal is suffering from heat stroke, get them to a vet right away.
  • Keep pets sequestered in a quiet, low-activity room when entertaining guests.

Every year Animal Protection Unit and the Humane Society of Boulder Valley see an increase in lost and missing pets during the week of July 4.  The loud noise of fireworks causes pets to bolt and become lost. Unfortunately, many times during the escape or while roaming pets become injured by other animals or vehicles.

If you see an animal in distress or in a hot car – don’t just walk by! You may save an animal’s life by calling 911 and requesting an Animal Protection officer. If you’re in a business parking lot, you can also ask the business manager to make an announcement… maybe the owner will hear it and remove their dog from the car before it’s too late. 

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